If you're crazy about crescents, you'll find your happy place this week between the Moon and Venus. Meanwhile, we shift our focus from 45P/H-M-P to another famous periodic comet, 2P/Encke.
Many of the deep-sky objects we point our telescopes toward have pleasant surprises, some in plain sight, others hidden and more challenging. Let me introduce you to a few.
With the Moon out of the picture, amateurs can once again check in on comet 45P/H-M-P, now making an appearance in the evening sky.
Green-glowing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will make an unusually close pass by Earth on Saturday. Watch it boogie across the morning sky this week!
Take a high-power ride to seek out baby stars and clotted clouds within the heart of the Orion Nebula.
The shock and dazzle of Iridium flares will soon be a thing of the past. Here's how to make the most of seeing them before they're replaced by a new generation of satellites.
Late sunrises make it easy to follow the parade of planets at dawn, including a nice apparition of Mercury this week with three successive lunar conjunctions.
Put on a coat, set up your scope, and become a polar explorer as we visit off-the-beaten-path craters and maria in the Moon's arctic vastness.
Comet lovers have much to look forward to in the new year with six potential bright binocular comets and at least two others for modest backyard telescopes.
Doing anything on New Year's Eve? Before you start toasting, don't miss an exceptionally close conjunction of Mars and Neptune.
Daylight ebbs to a minimum on Wednesday's winter solstice, but not for long. The very next day, the Sun turns back north and the cycle of light begins again.
Colorful lights twinkle everywhere during the holiday season, including up above in some remarkably tinted double stars. Find out what makes them so alluring.
In a spectacular case of bad timing, the full Moon coincides with the annual Geminid meteor shower. Don't feel put out. There's still something for everyone, including a consolation prize.
Calling all imagers! Three comets will make close flybys of Earth over the next two years. Join a new pro-am effort to make the most of this rare triple play.
The normally faint quasar CTA 102, once thought to harbor an advanced civilization and made famous in a 1967 song by the Byrds, is currently bright enough to see in an 8-inch telescope. In the history of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, there have been two great false alarms. The first occurred in 1963…
With our eyes often glued to the bright classical planets, Uranus is easy to overlook. Now well-placed for viewing at a convenient hour, why not pay this pale blue dot a visit the next clear night?
You won't want to miss the biggest, brightest full Moon in more than 68 years. Find out what makes this supermoon so special and how best to view it.
Did you know that the brightest part of the Merope Nebula in the Pleiades is also the hardest to see? We'll make sense of this seeming contradiction while honing key observing skills.
While the kids are gathering sweet treats this Halloween, get a celestial scare with these frightful deep-sky sights.
The annual Orionid meteor shower is active all week, peaking Friday morning October 21st. If you're up before dawn, you might just see these Halley's Comet castoffs come to life.
The famous variable star Delta Cephei unlocks a box deep-sky treasures in a little-visited corner of Cepheus, the King.
At 2.5 million light-years away, you might think it's impossible to see individual stars in the Andromeda Galaxy. Let its largest star cloud, NGC 206, show you the way.
Early risers get a triple treat this week and next: a ravishing dawn Moon, an excellent apparition of Mercury, and a hint of Halloween in the ghostly zodiacal light.
A stunning double star, Albireo is also a bit of an enigma. Is it a true binary or the result of a chance alignment?
In an age when UFO sightings are rife, we look at other possibilities that may help to explain the strange apparitions many see.